- By Bruce Lloyd
Senator San Nicolas splits the military buildup screen
Former Senator Hope Cristobal shares the screen with San Nicolas opposing his resolution
Guam’s military buildup has been the subject of plenty of controversy for years, with the most recent flashpoint being the planned firing range at the former Northwest Field at Andersen Air Force Base. The by now well honed opposition to the buildup has aimed its sights at this project, picking apart efforts by the military to allay concerns about threatened environmental and cultural harm to Guam from the new range.
Sen. Michael San Nicolas, who recently announced he’s a candidate for the Guam delegate seat in the U.S. Congress currently held by Madeleine Z. Bordallo, chose this time to introduce a resolution, which, if approved, would declare, on behalf of the people of Guam, the Legislature's "continuing support for the Guam Military Relocation, and the United States military's promotion of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region."
When the public hearing on Resolution 294-34 began at mid-day, November 22, supporters of the resolution were dominant in the hearing, with plenty of signs and pro-buildup petitions being signed. But there was no shortage of advocates, both for and against the resolution, lined up to offer testimony. In an apparent tactical move, there were no uniformed military personnel to be seen.
But as the hearing proceeded, some in the hall familiar with normal Legislative Channel coverage noticed something was different from the normal TV coverage unfolding on the big screens facing them.
Vice Speaker Senator Therese M. Terlaje said to Senator San Nicolas: “I’m sorry Mr. Chairman. With all due respect, I thought it was my imagination, but it appears that our broadcast [screen] is being split whenever there is testimony in opposition to the resolution and I would ask that our staff be allowed what they normally do. Pan the crowd, pan the panel and focus on the people as they have normally done for public hearings.
San Nicolas: Your request is noted but we will continue.
Nearly three hours into the hearing, Senator San Nicolas is seen making a trip back to the TV control room. Shortly afterward, the screen is split for John Thomas Brown of Jones & Guerrero, a supporter of the resolution. There’s one more split screen after that (for another opponent of the resolution) and then things return to what looks like normal legislative channel coverage of a public hearing.
Pacific Island Times has learned from sources that this bit of video manipulation was at the direction of Senator San Nicolas.
James Moylan testified for the resolution, solo.
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